The cryptos dance the mapouka! Major blockchain protocols compete for Africa’s emerging Web3 economy. According to analyst firm Chainalysis, the value of the African crypto market has increased by more than 1,200% between July 2020 and June 2021† Adoption rates are particularly high in Kenya, in South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. In addition, Africa had the third fastest growing cryptocurrency economy in the world during this period. Chainalysis also found that Africa leads in terms of shares of global peer-to-peer crypto transaction volume.
Blockchain protocols gain a foothold in Africa
Every day major blockchain networks are announcing new initiatives aimed at Africa† Ethereum, Cardano, Stellar, Celo and others seem to be actively competing to position themselves in the race. Their goal in the past twelve months? Building and shaping the emerging Web3 economy in Africa.
The Ethereum Foundation has committed resources to an insurance program with, for example, more than 6 million farmers in Kenya. The Stellar Development Foundation also announced several initiatives. First, a collaboration with Flutterwave to launch new Europe-Africa remittance channels† Subsequently, the foundation announced that it had invested in a Nigerian money transfer platform. She has also created blockchain boot camps for African startups. Finally, a $30 million fund has been set up.
The Celo Foundation also announced various initiatives. Among other things, a partnership with a Burkinabe startup to launch a stablecoin that tracks the value of the CFA franc. Celo has also signed a partnership with Mercy Corps Ventures for a pilot project in Kenya. The latter aims promote financial inclusion.
Cardano is also busy across the continent. Charles Hoskinson toured African countries. From South Africa to Egypt, he outlined Cardano’s vision of the continent. Cardano’s Africa-focused trading arm, EMURGO Africa, was established in Kenya. It is the intention of EMURGO Africa toinvest $100 million in over 100 blockchain startups in three years† EMURGO Africa has announced investments in Adanian Labs and Adaverse. Furthermore, Cardano announced a partnership with Kenyan Pezesha to develop a “peer-to-peer financial operating system”†
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African venture capital investments
In addition to the increased activity of blockchain protocols, there has also been an increase in fundraising over the past twelve months. Indeed, a large number of startups use different blockchain protocols help individuals. Companies and other entities also benefit from the benefits of the Web3 economy.
Exchanges and wallets that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies also experienced an increase in fundraising. Examples include VALR ($50 million Series B), Cowrie Exchange, Yellow Card, VIBRA (Africa Blockchain Lab), Busha, OVEX, Ejara, Bitmama, and Revix.
Infrastructure providers that make it easy to create crypto products have also attracted the attention of investors in Africa. Among them were LazerPay, KotaniPay, Payourse, Flux, Emtech and others.
Many services that leverage blockchain technology in a wide variety of use cases also have a part of the venture capital financing† Examples include the fundraising of Pravica, HouseAfrica, KappaPay, SunExchange, Chekkit, OneWattSolar, Seso Global, and others.
Credit-related services were a must for companies like Goldfinch, NFTfi and others. The latter also have venture capital raised in the past year† Finally, studios, super apps and other platforms with broad Web3 missions have also caught the attention of global investors.
Web3 offers countless possibilities all over the world. The implications for the African continent are enormous. billionsunbanked, underbooked and disadvantaged individuals can take advantage of blockchain technology. Given the current state of play and the pace of innovation across the continent, it is clear that: the future of Web3 in Africa is bright. And it’s not FTX that will say the opposite!
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